5 Common Problems Invoicing and How to Fix Them
Invoicing can be an extremely tedious and problematic task. Both invoice processing and mailing eat up valuable time and money in your business. Here are 5 common invoicing problems and some simple solutions to help you avoid an unnecessary invoicing crisis.
Problem No. 1: Missing Customer invoices
One of the most frustrating invoicing issues is having to track down missing invoices. This is the situation that the Accounts Payable department often faces when a vendor calls asking for payment status and when you look into the problem you find out that the invoice they are talking about was never actually recorded correctly in the system. This can result in duplicate invoices being paid. To help reduce the number of missing invoice handling issues you need to find out why invoices from the vendor are not making it to the accounts department. If the cause is that the products or services are not going through the correct order process, then this needs to be rectified. All ordering should go through a centralised purchasing department or something similar. This way, invoices can be paid on time and costs can be controlled effectively. One key way to make this work is to require purchase order (PO) numbers on all orders. The purchasing department assigns all the PO numbers, making it possible to track all expenses.
Problem No. 2: Costly, Confusing invoices
Invoicing delays can sometimes be caused by customers not understanding exactly what they are being billed for. Make sure you list goods or services in a way that your customers can easily understand. Where possible, instead of using ambiguous product codes, use the product name in full or provide a clear description of the service provided. That way the customer can understand exactly what they ordered by scanning the invoice quickly.
Make it easy for customers to identify your business by placing your company logo in a prominent position and using consistent branding on every invoice.
Problem No. 3: Missing or incorrect Invoice data
Often incorrect or missing line data isn’t picked up until too late in the invoicing process. With an automated invoice management system or invoice mailing service, validation checks are carried out at each stage of the process, ensuring that all the relevant invoice details are obtained and inserted right from the start.
Problem No. 4: Recurring invoice mistakes Being Made
If your business makes recurring invoice mistakes such as erroneous addition or incorrect prices it is likely that there are systemic problems at play here. You will need to do a bit of investigation in order to determine the source of these mistakes. For example, it could be a matter of the price information not being updated regularly. You need to work out if there is an error in the system or if it is simply that staff are not updating information in the system as required. You may need to arrange a meeting with staff to address issues with the process to avoid further mistakes occurring.
Problem No. 5: Slow invoice mailing processes
Sometimes days can pass between the time the invoice is created and when it finally gets mailed out to the customer. Even in this digital age, there are still a lot of cases in which paper invoices are required or preferred. By outsourcing your printing and distribution to a trusted invoice mailing service provider, you can speed up the process and save your company valuable time and money.